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Sheriff plans walk across Gadsden

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By Cheri Harris

Gadsden County Sheriff Morris Young plans to draw attention to male breast cancer by taking a walk.

Starting at 6 a.m. Friday from the Hardee’s in Chattahoochee, Young will begin a trek across Gadsden County.

Members of the community are invited to participate, walking a portion of the 34-mile route that will carry him to Gretna, Quincy, the law enforcement academy, on to Midway and then to the Leon County Line.

“That’s a long walk,” Maj. Shawn Wood said Friday during a press conference at the sheriff’s office. 

Wood started training for the walk back in July, exercising regularly and making healthy diet changes with encouragement from his sister-in-law, Kaye McMillan. 

“I was just trying to encourage everyone to make better choices,” she said. She said Young has turned his garage into a home gym now used by about 17 people to improve their health. She said since July, she has lost 22 pounds and Young has dropped about 33.

“He calls me Coach Kaye,” she said.

“Some people may think it’s courageous and some people may think it’s crazy, but I think it’s courageous,” Wood said of his boss’s determination to traverse the county on foot in one day.

The walk will include refreshment stations and vans to transport walkers who don’t wish to complete the whole walk.

Male breast cancer is an uncommon disease that hits home with GCSO employee Annie Berry. She said her son was diagnosed in 2009 and lost his battle with the disease despite chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

“We are determined in our lifetime to find a cure for cancer, or create a lifestyle where they will never have it,” she said.

The sheriff is expected to reach Midway for the final mile about 8 p.m. Friday. The public is invited to join him for the “Pink Mile” to the county line.

In conjunction with the sheriff’s walk, a “Breast Cancer Awareness Gala” will start at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Quincy National Guard Armory. The event will include local breast cancer survivors, live entertainment, dinner and door prizes. Formal attire requested. Tickets are $30 per person or $250 per table. Proceeds will benefit Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. For tickets, call Tiffani Dawkins, 508-8848; Shanda Wright, 508-1977; or Trenika Shorter, 210-7275. 

Times Executive Editor Cheri Harris can be reached at editor@gadcotimes.com or 850-627-7649.